Grand Rapids Symphony meets Daft Punk, meets LCD Soundsystem at ArtPrize

Media Contact
Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk
Senior Manager of Communications and Media Relations
616.454.9451 ext. 139


GRAND RAPIDS, MI., Sept. 26, 2016  –  ArtPrize is the place to see unusual and surprising art in unpredictable and startling places in Grand Rapids.

Now, the eighth annual exhibition is the place to hear unexpected and astounding music as well.

Grand Rapids Symphony is diving deep into ArtPrize event with music you’ve never heard, you’ve only imagined.

Think classical music plus Daft Punk plus LCD Soundsystem. Hear what you get when you put steel drums and synthesizer together with sizzling strings. That’s just for starters.

Grand Rapids Symphony musicians leave the concert hall behind and head into the art gallery at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts with modern music for a modern audience in a modern setting.

Grand Rapids Symphony musicians, meanwhile, also will head outdoors and onto the Blue Bridge over the Grand River for the Blue Bridge Music Festival during ArtPrize 2016.

With steel drums and electronics, Grand Rapids Symphony will rock ArtPrize like no orchestra you’ve ever heard before.

Of course, it’s all FREE admission. That’s how ArtPrize rolls.

Andy Akiho, a steel drummer and composer, is a special guest artist who will appear with Grand Rapids Symphony musicians indoors at UICA on Thursday and Friday, September 29-30, and outdoors on the Blue Bridge on Saturday, Sept. 1

Conductor Jacomo Barios, artistic director of the genre-bending, eclectic chamber orchestra, Nu Deco Ensemble, will lead Grand Rapids Symphony musicians at UICA in original music plus classical works reinterpreted.

Barios, who guest conducted the Grand Rapids Symphony in January, is music director of the Amarillo Symphony. But he co-founded the Miami-based Nu Deco Ensemble to be a 21st century orchestra for a 21st century audience.

“We’re trying to create a new model of what a symphony can be,” Barios told MLive in January.

Barios brings music from Nu Deco’s repertoire to Grand Rapids for this week’s concerts.

Check out what you get when you put steel drums and synthesizer together with sizzling strings.

Hear Bizet’s Farandole reimagined as “Refried Farandole.” Experience Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor repackaged as Toccata y Fuga en Re Menor.

Hear samples of Nu Deco Ensemble’s version of Nick Omiccioli’s “Fuse” and a version of Paul Hindemith’s “Kammermusik,” both part of the Grand Rapids Symphony’s shows at UICA.

Grand Rapids Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra gives three different, 30-minute long performances Thursday through Sunday in UICA’s Black Box on its Fourth Floor.

Drop by UICA for one program or stay for all three on any day.

While you check out the Grand Rapids Symphony, you also can see some of UICA’s current exhibition, “superusted: The 4th Midwest Biennial,” on the Fourth Floor.

Meanwhile, outdoors, Grand Rapids Symphony musicians are appearing on the Blue Bridge in three separate programs Wednesday through Friday. One-hour programs include marimbist and percussionist David Hall; violinist/violist and electronic musician Leanne King; and violinist and country fiddler Susan Mora.

Here’s the Grand Rapids Symphony’s lineup for ArtPrize Eight:

Blue Bridge in Downtown Grand Rapids:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 4pm | Percussionist and Marimbist David Hall: “Marimbas Around the World”

  • Thursday, Sept. 29 at 4pm | Violinist/Violist Leanne King: ADIOSWATCH: viola+electronix

  • Friday, Sept. 30 at 2:30pm | Violinist Susan Mora and Friends: Country Fiddler

  • Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12 noon | Steel drummer Andy Akiho and Symphony Friends: Music for Steelpan, Drums, Electric Bass and Cello


Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts:

  • Thursday, September 29 | Jacomo Barios conducts half-hour concerts at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm

  • Friday and Saturday, September 30-October 1 | Jacomo Barios conducts half-hour concerts at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm; and at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm

  • Sunday, Oct. 2 | Jacomo Barios conducts half-hour concerts at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm


About the Grand Rapids Symphony

Organized in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, nine concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are given each year, touching the lives of some 200,000, nearly half of whom are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities all reached through extensive education and community service programs. Affiliated organizations include the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus; Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra; and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. GRS provides the orchestra for performances by Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet and sponsors the biennial Grand Rapids Bach Festival, which returns in March 2017.

To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony, please visit the website or

| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Flickr |

This activity is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.